In Shadow of Ukraine Scandal, White House Hosts Second State Dinner of Trump Era

During that visit, the two leaders made a show of how much they seemed to personally like each other, even though Mr. Macron had made it clear he had hoped to sway Mr. Trump against pulling the United States out of the Iran nuclear deal.

In the end, their performative bonding proved unable to preserve that pact, and the situation in Iran had devolved into a diplomatic tinder box by the time Mr. Morrison’s limousine pulled up to the White House. Mr. Morrison told reporters on Friday that Australia had not been asked to engage further in the conflict in Iran beyond protecting ships from Iranian threats in the critical Strait of Hormuz.

Faced with a list of pressing global matters, Mr. Morrison, for his part, seemed to embrace his status as a just-happy-to-be-here ally. During their visit, the two leaders spoke at length about the shared military history between the two countries. Mr. Trump even gifted the prime minister with a model of a battleship.

“In the First World War, our bond was sealed in blood,” Mr. Trump said in his welcome speech.

“We see the world through the same lens,” Mr. Morrison agreed.

Later, at a state dinner held in the Rose Garden that Mr. Trump decided to open to reporters, the two men again reiterated the ties between them while seeming all but unaware of the larger conflicts in the world.

Mr. Trump, dressed in a tuxedo, basked in the attention as he walked through the tables, shaking hands and patting backs. Mr. Morrison looked up at the president and beamed. As a military orchestra played Lee Greenwood’s “God Bless the U.S.A.,” a Trump supporter anthem, Palm Beach socialites mingled with Supreme Court justices and Fox News personalities.

And Mr. Giuliani, the president’s lawyer, literally laughed off the escalating situation involving Ukraine as he showed up at the White House, and strolled into the Rose Garden with a date on his arm.


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